turkey crackdown chronicle

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Tunca İlker Öğreten

Tunca İlker Öğreten, a freelance journalist and former editor for the online opposition newspaper Diken, was charged, alongside four other journalists and a media worker, with terrorism and cybercrime offenses for publishing the purported emails of a Turkish minister. On January 17, 2017, an Istanbul court charged Öğreten with “blocking, disrupting [a] computing system,” “destroying…

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Gültekin Avcı

Gültekin Avcı, a former prosecutor and a columnist for the shuttered daily Bugün, has been repeatedly detained since 2015, with his columns cited as evidence against him. He was most recently arrested in 2019, one day after he was released from prison. In December 2020, he was convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to life in…

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a televised interview in Istanbul on January 5, 2020. The Turkish government recently cancelled hundreds of journalists' press passes. (Presidential Press Service via AP)

Turkish authorities cancel press passes for hundreds of journalists

Istanbul, January 24, 2020 — Turkish authorities should restore the recently cancelled press cards of hundreds of reporters, and establish a transparent and impartial process for obtaining press passes, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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Semiha Şahin, an editor at ETHA, is in legal limbo after Turkish authorities failed to fully implement the terms of her house arrest. (ETHA)

‘I could be jailed at any moment’: Turkish editor in limbo over terms of prison release

If somebody is legally under house arrest but in practice not, are they free? Semiha Şahin, an editor at the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), confronts this question—and the legal ambiguity that it poses—every day. A Turkish court released the journalist under house arrest in June, pending the outcome of her trial, but authorities have…

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10 Most Censored Countries

Repressive governments use sophisticated digital censorship and surveillance alongside more traditional methods to silence independent media. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Published September 10, 2019 Eritrea is the world’s most censored country, according to a list compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The list is based on CPJ’s research into the…

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Journalists hold placards on January 10, 2016, during a march in Istanbul as they protest against the imprisonment of journalists. On July 16, 2019, a Turkish court ordered service providers to block access to several news sites. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

Turkish court orders service providers to block access to news sites

Istanbul, August 6, 2019–An Ankara court on July 16 ordered Turkish internet service providers to block access in Turkey to 136 web addresses, independent news website Bianet reported today. The blocked addresses include the websites of news outlets Bianet, ETHA news agency, Halkın Sesi TV, Özgür Gelecek, osp.org, geziyisavunuyoruz.org, Gazete Fersude, Yeni Demokratik Gençlik, Umut…

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Journalist Lyra McKee (Art: Gianluca Costantini)


Freelance journalist Lyra McKee was fatally injured on April 18 during rioting and a police operation in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. She was hit with a bullet when a gunman opened fire on police, and died in the hospital. CPJ joins family and friends of Lyra, as well as the global community, in standing with Lyra….

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Protesters hold copies of Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet during a demonstration in front of a courthouse in Istanbul on October 31, 2017. Today, the Istanbul appeals court rejected several appeals relating to the Cumhuriyet case. (Yasin Akgul/AFP)

Turkish appeals court upholds prison sentences for Cumhuriyet staff

Istanbul, February 19, 2019–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Istanbul appeals court’s decision today to uphold the terrorism-related convictions of the staff of pro-opposition daily newspaper Cumhuriyet.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets supporters in Ankara, Turkey, on June 25, 2018. A Turkish court handed heavy sentences to six journalists on July 6. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Turkish court hands heavy sentences to Zaman journalists

New York, July 6, 2018–Turkish authorities should drop all charges against six journalists who worked for the now-shuttered Zaman daily newspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalists were found guilty today by a court in Istanbul and handed heavy prison sentences, BBC Türkçe and the daily Cumhuriyet reported.

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CPJ Insider: July 2018 edition

CPJ announces 2018 International Press Freedom Award winners In a 2014 interview with CPJ, Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh said, “I have a right to write. … If they want to arrest me, they can.” Three years later, they did. Vietnamese authorities convicted Quynh–known best by her penname, “Mother Mushroom”–on charges of “propagandizing against…

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